Now I’m sure I’ll get called an anti-Semite for even posting this clip but I know that I am not one, so it doesn’t bother me. Just like with so many things in our world, nuance just doesn’t sell very well. People want black and white, no grays allowed. If you listen very carefully to what Helen says, how can you really disagree with her? But of course if you are a “knee-jerker”, than there is all sorts of stuff for you to get upset about in this clip. As I mentioned before, I had the great privilege to meet her years ago and have corresponded by email with her a few times over the years. She is a national treasure, one of a kind and very wise. Go Helen….
As Rachel Maddow has been saying for a long time, Republicans have no shame….none at all. They will go on television, radio or whatever and blatantly contradict themselves, lie, mislead, insinuate falsehoods and vilify innocent people and institutions with no second thought. The ironic part to me has always been their preaching out of the other side of their mouths about Christian values and morality while they lie, lie, lie. If there is a god, these fuckers sure ain’t going to be hanging with him when they cross over. And if there is a hell, these fuckers will be in the area with no air conditioning…you can bet on it.
When President Obama and the Democrats won in 2008, almost immediately we heard Boehner, Ryan and the whole lying bunch immediately start preaching about fiscal responsibility. My first thought was, yeah, now you care about fiscal responsiblity after George W. Bush ran up our debt by giving it all to rich people, Haliburton, Bechtel, Blackwater and the rest of their rich buddies. They did this with no shame whatsoever. And the dumb ass media just let them spew it, didn’t challenge them, didn’t point out the inconsistencies….they just played along with it like they usually do. E.J. Dionne has an excellent piece that speaks to this tactic that Republicans have been using for many years. Go read the whole piece, it is most excellent. Here is my favorite part…
Where were the moderate deficit hawks in all this? They have a very bad habit. When conservatives blow up our fiscal position with their tax cuts, the deficit hawks are silent – or, at best, mumble a few words of mild reproach to have something on the record – and let the budget wreckage happen. Quite a few in their ranks (yes, including some Democrats) actually supported the Bush tax cuts.
But when it’s the progressives’ turn in power, the deficit hawks become ferocious. They denounce liberals if they do not move immediately to address the shortfall left by conservatives. Thus, conservatives get to govern as they wish. Liberals are labeled as irresponsible unless they abandon their own agenda and devote their every moment in power to cutting the deficit.
It’s a game for chumps. The conservatives play it brilliantly. By winning their tax cuts and slashing government revenue, they constrain what liberals can do whenever they get back into power.
Pretty slick little game they have going. It fits well with their lying, philandering, cheating, stealing, lining their pockets and all the other very moral things they do collectively as a party. And of course it is only going to get worse in light of the Citizen’s United ruling that will put an end to American democracy in short order, in my humble opinion.
I saw this live last night (well the repeat) and was reminded how much of an asshole Lawrence O’Donnell can be. I still like Larry, but this segment with Jason Chaffetz about his sleeping in his office to save money was just over-the-top bad. What good does it do the progressive cause when you make Republicans look good by being so angry and stupid. Who really gives a shit where the guy sleeps? Maybe Lawrence should have devoted that segment to talking about Chaffetz’s crazy policy ideas instead of acting like someone who needs anger management classes. Still love you Larry, but chill the hell out about silly things like this.
This isn’t the first time that Larry has acted this way, either. My guess is that it doesn’t play very well with the brass upstairs either. There is something about that over-the-top combative style that turns a lot of people off, including myself. I would much rather see Rachel Maddow go after someone with her calm, factual and relentless style rather than what Lawrence displayed last night. And he was a staffer in the Senate for two years, you know?
I’ll have more on this later, but for now go read Steve Benen’s post about it.
With the horrible news of Lara Logan’s brutal assault and rape in Egypt, maybe we can use this horrific event to help educate young and old people that it has to stop now, goddamn it. Having grown up in a household with a very strong mother, who taught her 5 boys respect for all people and engrained in us the fact that every living being is worthy of respect, I can’t even fathom how someone could hurt another like that. Raping or sexually assaulting someone (overwhelmingly women) is the ultimate in disrespect of another human being. It robs them of their humanity and the effects are long lasting and in many cases permanent. My wife was raped twice in her life, the first time was when she was 14 years old (unreported) and the second time was at gun point by an ex-boyfriend when she was 36 years old (he went to jail for a few days).
As men, we have to stand up to these violent men and change the culture that allows them to somehow think it is OK to do this. People who rape almost always learned it from someone else, a parent, a relative, a friend, a pastor, a fraternity brother, a video game, a movie…oh man, it’s built right into our culture in many ways and it’s about goddamn time it stopped. Penalties for rape need to be harsh and just as brutal as the crime. There has to be consequences for these horrific actions, a price needs to be paid in order to send a message to people with these violent urges. It is a crime of violence, not sex. Domination and control, not arousal and it is never, ever justified no matter what the situation. NEVER!
Angry Black Lady has a post up by Emily L. Hauser about the assault on Lara Logan, here is a snippet…
But the simple truth is that the only culture that is responsible for this is human culture.
In far too many minds, all over the world, a female human is little more than an outlet or repository for male wishes or power (take a look at ABL’s post, below). Rape is regularly and consistently used as a weapon of war. Rape is regularly and consistently used as a method of control.
But rape is also just regular and consistent. Men rape for no reason other than that they think they can get away with it — all the time, every day. Doctors rape, clergymen rape, husbands rape, boyfriends rape, employers rape, “dates” rape. Sometimes they employ tricks and ploys and intoxicants in order to convince themselves that what they’re doing is not (as Whoopi Goldberg so memorably put it) “RAPE rape” — but if she said no, or couldn’t say no, or was too afraid to say no? It’s RAPE rape. It’s all rape.
And lots of times, rapists don’t even bother to convince themselves. They wanted a vagina, and there was one in the room. They wanted to bond with their boys, and a vagina walked by. They wanted to show that bitch, or prove their worth, or relieve themselves, or take what any man in his right mind would take. RAPE rape.
I hate to get political on the subject, but our friends in the Republican Party certainly aren’t helping to curtail it by sending messages like this…from Raw Story…
The broad anti-abortion measure would restrict federally-assisted abortion coverage to cases of “forcible rape,” excluding in that definition instances where women are drugged and raped, where women say “no” but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, and various cases of date rape. It also excludes instances of statutory rape in which minors are impregnated by adults. The victim in all cases would be denied abortion coverage under Medicaid and forbidden from seeking health care tax benefits.
Now they’ve since backed off on that language, but the message was very clearly sent to those men who think that drugging a girl or getting her drunk isn’t really “forcible rape”…right? Is it any wonder that our culture is so fucked up, white men have been running this country for way too long. My step father, a very wise man – may he rest in peace – used to frequently say that if women controlled the country, it would be a much better place. My parents gave a lot of money to Emily’s List.
STOP RAPE NOW! Speak out whenever you hear a man insinuate (or blatantly say) that it is OK and be forceful, don’t let it stand. And for goodness sake, teach your children to respect all people no matter who they are and engrain in them the golden rule, which appears in many forms in almost all religions “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
My thoughts on the President’s proposed budget are mixed. I’ll be honest and tell you that I won’t spend much time worrying about it because it is a long process and there will be many ups and downs along the way. Steve Benen continues to be the best blogger out there and since I frequently agree with him, I’ll just let him say it for me.
But Obama’s preferred approach is about making him appear reasonable against GOP extremism. As the fight progresses, the president will tell the public, “I presented a budget plan with deep cuts, even to programs I care about, which will lower the deficit considerably. Instead of working on a sensible compromise, Republicans are going too far and now want to shut down the government.” The point is to push the GOP into fighting the White House to do some very unpopular things — things the president and his team suspect Republicans will drop when push comes to shove, for fear of a public backlash.
Since the GOP won the House in November, I’ve been wondering how the budget process, including this current years budget, would work out. Republicans have been in “stupid” mode for two years, just saying anything they want, not proposing anything themselves, shooting at a big target presented by the mess left by the Bush administration. Someone had to get us out of the mess and it sure wasn’t Republicans stepping up to the plate and I guess since they were out of power, they had every reason to play the game that way. But now that they control the House and are responsible for writing the budget and passing laws, well, it’s time for them to step up to the plate.
I know some left bloggers are pissed at the President for comparing the government budget to a family’s budget, saying they are like apples and oranges. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean that the family budget analogy can’t be used to help the general public understand it. I think his tact is dead on, especially with so many village idiots entering the political process. If he doesn’t explain it in a way that the general population understands, he leaves himself open with Republicans using every trick they can to appeal to these folks. Education is the key to fighting against the Republicans tactics.
I’ll just wrap up this post with the idea that during the campaign, President Obama talked about being fiscally responsible and taking on tough issues including spending. I’m sure a large part of the progressive wing didn’t hear that or didn’t believe him, thinking he was just saying it to get elected. Well, just like with Afghanistan, he meant what he said and is doing exactly what he said he would do. I may not like it, but I knew it when I voted for him, so I’m dealing with it.
I absolutely loved this post by Matt Osborne at Osborne Ink about Bradley Manning’s detention for his admitted leaking of military documents. My favorite parts of Matt’s post follow…
Manning has not been convicted — yet — but there is nothing especially harsh or unusual about his conditions. The Rosenbergs were isolated. Aldrich Ames was isolated. There is no “plan” to drive Bradley Manning insane. He’s a prisoner accused of giving away his country’s secrets. Such prisoners are held in solitary confinement as standard counterintelligence protocol. Who wants a caught spy to tell the other side what you have sweated out of him in the interrogation room? Who wants him to be free to do more damage?
Giving away American secrets is against the law; the penalties are stiff. Manning knew that, but chose to give secrets away — and then got caught by bragging about it to strangers on the internet. That there are no other prisoners in Quantico accused of espionage is a happy accident: most American service members take their oaths as seriously as I did, and do. Manning didn’t. A justice system will adjudicate what that means, not Glenn Greenwald.
I’ve also been reading a lot about the backlash against Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post since she sold out to the right wing CEO of AOL, they share visions, you know. I’m just going to throw out all the links I’ve collected about this deal and Huffpost in general, feel free to read at your leisure…and discuss in the comments if you feel so inclined. Here they are. Internships for rich people, AOL is a mess, The AOL Way, it’s all about the money, citizen journalism (Mayhill Fowler), tainted AOL money, science schmience, stealing content, Arianna’s flip-flop-flip, her wageless employees, Hamsher likes this corporatist (why is that?) and last but certainly not least, we have Al Giordano at The Field telling us why he scrubbed The Huffington Post of all the posts he ever did there.
And finally, if you haven’t read Lawrence Wright’s piece in the New Yorker about Scientology (The Apostate), I highly recommend it. It is a long piece, so set aside some time or plan to read it in multiple sessions. I’ve personally been fascinated by the cult of scientology and in particular, it’s appeal to celebrities. This piece sheds a lot of light on the situation. I’ve thought for years about doing a documentary on the Church of Scientology and may still do it, but I have reservations because of their ways. Read the piece and you will know what I mean.
This is what I did this morning…had a lot of fun with my very smart granddaughter. She’s kind of cute too, wouldn’t you say?
Photos by Extreme Liberal
Now I certainly don’t expect the media or the brain dead leaders of the GOP and I better add the Obama haters to the list too…but I don’t expect any of them to grasp how nuanced our position has been, walking a fine line between looking like we are dictating to Egypt what to do (just a little resentment if we did that), making sure we show that we support the people of Egypt, balancing our economic interests (our oil addiction, drill baby drill) and many other delicate issues involved like our relationship with Israel and other middle east countries. Do you suppose Sarah Palin took even one of those things into consideration before she opened her pie-hole the other day and spewed out another word salad? Not me!
In our political environment where the village idiots have been empowered and the media seems to play to them, I don’t expect anyone to really get it. But we true progressives do and many honest Republicans actually do too. Thankfully the foreign policy experts in the GOP haven’t drank the Kool-aid quite yet, but give them time.
Booman has a great post up with a quote from our awesome president’s speech in Cairo. Go look at it. Here is Booman’s wrap up which adds to what I typed above…
The brave Egyptian people deserve the credit for making this revolution happen, but it was crucial that our president signaled his support for the effort, did everything he could to protect them a violent crackdown, and finally put his finger on the scale at the crucial moment. We will learn more details in the years to come. There is no doubt that there has been division within the administration, with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even envoy Frank Wisner showing support for a continuation of the Mubarak regime. But the president didn’t waver and he kept the promises he made in Cairo nearly two years ago.
He has not disappointed me. His leadership validates my belief in his instincts.
Photo by Extreme Liberal – of my very smart granddaughter!
Breaking news. Apparently she asked for some toast. How f**king sweet is that? Thanks to CNN email alerts.
It is going to be really fun for me to watch as the Huffington Post suffers the backlash from Arianna’s opportunistic ways. I don’t really hate the woman or anything, but several months ago I did a little research on her and found out a lot of very interesting things. I have to give thanks to Grant in Texas for the awesome links to some stories I hadn’t seen. I’ve been sitting on most of the information I found about her, it’s not like anyone couldn’t find it themselves if they know how to use Google. I may write more in the days to come, but it looks like her house of cards is starting to topple on it’s own. From a story at The Raw Story…
Adbusters magazine set out to unite those disaffected former supporters of Arianna Huffington’s flagship site by suggesting they use social media to promote alternatives.
“Socialite Arianna Huffington built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists,” a post at Adbusters begins. “She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she’s cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.”
But the Huffington Post is not Arianna’s to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we’re going to take it back.
We’ll stop going to her site. And we’ll stop blogging for her too. Then we’ll give birth to an alternative to AOL’s HuffPo by using the #huffpuff hash tag to tell the world about our favorite counter-culture websites and indie blogs.
“We are the ones who built the Huffington Post. And now we will be the ones who will huff & puff it down,” Adbusters concluded.
If I were a liberal blogger who was used by her, I’d be just a little bit pissed at this new deal. I hope that this backlash builds momentum and the real story of Arianna Huffington will finally be told. MSNBC deserves a lot of blame in my opinion, they helped to build her up as a “liberal” and constantly refer to the Huffington Post as a liberal or progressive website. She could always count on MSNBC to help promote her brand, I wonder if they are getting a cut from the deal just like all those liberal bloggers who provided content to her for free. I have a feeling that comments like the one below are only going to piss off those used and abused bloggers even more. She is unbelievable. Just a little bit of schadenfreude going on in this bloggers brain…
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, had been trying to downplay the importance of partisan politics after the announcement.
“We don’t see ourselves as left,” Huffington told Politico. “And I think it’s one area where news consumers are ahead of the media, because they know that continuing to see everything that’s happening as a right-left issue is missing what’s happening, and is also making it much harder for us to be properly informed.”
She’s done with us liberals now, she cashed in. On to the next group of rubes, she’s already been trying to attract the Tea Party folks with her recent book that is nothing but platitudes and populist opportunism. What was it that P.T. Barnum said?
Now that the midterms are over and the Republicans are done throwing red meat to the base, it looks like the establishment Republicans are done using Glenn Beck to rally the mindless, thoughtless, bigoted masses who follow him. The word on the street is that Beck’s days are numbered at Fox News. With Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol both taking shots at him, it seems like the writing is on the wall for ole’ Beck. Steve Benen covers it pretty well, here is a piece from him…
Last week, Fox News’ Glenn Beck launched a week-long effort to explain developments in Egypt as only he can. The deranged media personality cooked up truly bizarre conspiracy theories — even by his standards — involving caliphates, communists, and radical theocrats, all of whom are coordinating their efforts for “the coming insurrection” and the “new world order,” which will apparently include China seizing New Zealand.
Over the weekend, The Weekly Standard‘s William Kristol, a Fox News contributor, had seen enough. “[H]ysteria is not a sign of health,” Kristol wrote in a new column. “When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.”
Rut roh, do I sense a slight rift in the GOP family? I have a feeling Sarah Palin is next to be let go after that CBN interview. I don’t know how any serious person could consider that woman an asset to the party. I don’t think she’s qualified to run a Kool-aid stand, let alone a state or country. I look forward to the unraveling of Sarah, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’s going to stay around for a while. More on the Beck and Kristol feud, good stuff…
Apparently, Beck caught wind of all of this, and lashed out at Kristol on his radio show this morning.
“I don’t even know if you understand what conservatives are anymore, Billy,” Beck said in his extended, sarcastic attack on Kristol. “People like Bill Kristol, I don’t think they stand for anything anymore. All they stand for is power. They’ll do anything to keep their little fiefdom together, and they’ll do anything to keep the Republican power entrenched.”
Stay tuned, it should be a fun ride for the next two years as the GOP infighting will surely only get worse as we head towards the primaries. Woo hoo.
This is a post I put up a while back that I decided to dust off and share with you all again in light of the completion of Arianna’s Scam, AOL paying her $315 Million dollars for her Huffington Post website (don’t go there). The original headline read “The Huffington Post, A Stolen Idea!.” I’ve also put links to other posts I’ve done about her below.
Arianna with her buddy Newt Gingrich
Politico has a long piece up about a lawsuit brought by two Democratic consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce which claims that the idea for The Huffington Post was stolen from them. A while back, I did some research into Arianna Huffington and came across some rather revealing things about Arianna and her MO. The most glaring of these was her teaming up with Newt Gingrich in the early 90’s to help bring about Gingrich’s Republican Revolution, oh and apparently she’s still hanging with him. I’m old enough to remember that bullshit and have always been skeptical of Huffington and see her as an opportunist. Her new book, no plug here, attempts to play on people’s fears about the economic crisis. I hope to find time to write about that soon, she’s been not so subtly appealing to the angry people in the country….there’s money to be made on that anger, you know? From the Politico piece…
The complaint is a direct challenge to the left’s most important media property from two stalwarts of the progressive movement. And it challenges Huffington’s own oft-told story of coming up with the idea in conversation with Lerer and other friends.
“Huffington has styled herself as a ‘new media’ maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends,” says the complaint. “As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to the Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the ‘new media’ ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the website and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.”
It certainly doesn’t surprise me to read this, that’s what Republicans are all about, making money on the backs of other people. It completely fits with her opportunistic MO. She is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every time I hear her introduced as a liberal, I do a spit take with my coffee or Lipton Diet Green Tea…and we all know how painful that can be. She is no liberal, she just shifted her “mark” to liberals. She saw the pendulum swinging away from conservatism with the election of George W. Bush and saw a great opportunity to capitalize on it. Recently, it seems she is jealous of all the money Glenn Beck and his sorts are making off the anger on the right. I see her book as a blatant appeal to those people, she want’s some of that money too. More from Politico…
Lerer, a former AOL executive who once worked as a spokesman for junk bond king Michael Milken, later involved other Internet gurus – the marketing expert Jonah Perretti, and Drudge collaborator Andrew Breitbart – in their launch, and Daou and Boyce aren’t the first to contest the Huffington Post’s lineage.
“I created the Huffington Post,” Breitbart told Wired in March, prompting Huffington to reply that he “wasn’t present” for the initial 2004 meeting.
Can you even fucking believe it, Breitbart was there at the start of The Huffington Post. Now that speaks volumes in my mind. Andrew Fucking Breitbart working with Arianna, and of course this is after she supposedly saw the light and became more progressive….cough, spit. I remember seeing her talk on C-SPAN in the early 2000’s and thinking, wow, a conservative who’s seen the light and grown. As I continued to watch her speak, I had a sense about her that she was slippery. She talked around a lot of issues, was very slick in her appeal to liberals, playing on their dislike for George W. Bush, using clever put downs of him to gain acceptance. I have to admit, I was digging what she was saying, I disliked ole’ W. about as much as anyone. But even then, I was cautious because of her slickness. It was only after I started getting pissed off at the misleading headlines on her site that I started doing some digging and discovered the above links.
Booman, who was the source of the Politico link above, wonders why The Huffington Post is considered left…
Is the Huffington Post the “left’s most important media property”? Really? Because I have never opened the Huffington Post unless directed there by someone else. I have almost never linked to them (probably less than a dozen times in six years). I don’t think I’ve ever been to their home-page. I think if they were really so important, I’d find I couldn’t blog effectively without knowing what was going on there. But, for the most part, the Huffington Post doesn’t even exist for me. It’s like the Drudge Report. I know it exists, and occasionally someone points out to me that they have some interesting material, but that’s it. And why is the Huffington Post considered a left-leaning site? I don’t consider Arianna Huffington to be left-leaning. She’s a critic of President Bush and the current brand of know-nothing politics of the right. But she’s certainly no liberal. Above all, she’s a business woman and a celebrity. She’s not a part of any movement I am aware of. I’m not knocking her, but I just don’t get why her site is supposed to be important to the left. For what?
I used to frequent her website until I noticed a change in course and their turning on the President. I was often sucked into the misleading headlines which many times didn’t reflect was in the actual article, a blatant bait and switch of sorts. She is very good at making money off people’s emotions, I suspect she will continue to do well in that regard. I just won’t be a part of it.
Here are some links to other posts I’ve done about The Huffington Post, Arianna inspired me. There is something about a conservative trying to act like a liberal that pisses me off, for some reason.
So the Huffington Post was bought out by AOL and Arianna has finally cashed in on her scam. She saw an opportunity to make money off liberals, and she took it. $300,000,000 will make you forget your new found liberal ideas in a heartbeat. You have to give her credit for making money off and feeding the discontent on the left, she’s done it masterfully. I’m listening for Jane Hamsher, Cenk Uygur, Glenn Greenwald and the rest of the gang to put her in the “corporatist” wing of the political world. I am not holding my breath, however.